Sydney business that allegedly provided Bruce Lehrmann with thousands of dollars in Thai massages

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The massage parlour where a former Seven producer claims he booked more than $10,000 in services while trying to secure an interview with Bruce Lehrmann touts itself as an establishment where customers can find their “happy relief”.

Ex-Spotlight producer Taylor Auerbach made the untested claims in an affadavit which was tendered to the Federal Court.

Justice Michael Lee was set to hand down his decision on Mr Lehrmann’s defamation lawsuit against Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson on Thursday.

However, on Tuesday night, Justice Lee announced Network 10 had won an 11th hour bid to reopen the case, with Auerbach now set to be cross examined on Thursday afternoon.

Receipts showing multiple payments to Sensai Thai Massage in Burwood in Sydney’s inner west are part of a tranche of documents released by the Federal Court on Wednesday.

In his sworn affidavits, Auerbach detailed the efforts to convince Mr Lehrmann to agree to a tell-all interview.

The former Seven employee produced a number of receipts and text messages which he alleges relate “to receipts of purchases incurred by me, and/or Seven directly, for the benefit of (Mr Lehrmann).”

He claimed the cost of the massage services totalled “approximately $10,315” and were paid for with a Seven credit card. It is understood this was done without the knowledge of senior Spotlight staff.

One of the receipts shows a charge of $1000 from the massage parlour at 1.05am on November 26, 2022.

Another receipt shows a second charge approximately 25 minutes later for $875, with another one at 1.49am showing a $1000 charge.

The Sensai Thai Massage website states, “Find your happy relief here” and “Discover more fun with us”.

Among the services offered on the site are an oil relaxing massage, a double massage and a “quick happy massage”.

News.com.au revealed last month that a Seven credit card was used by an employee to book a masseuse for Mr Lehrmann in November, 2022. The employee was subsequently identified as Auerbach.

Spotlight producer Steve Jackson, who was not present on the night and did not authorise or have any knowledge of the use of the credit card, suggested Auerbach ask the Thai masseuse to reverse the transactions and “pay cash instead” in order to remove the charges from the company credit card.

Jackson suggested the employee offer a “bonus” of $250 and provided Mr Auerbach with a Google translation of how to tell the worker in Thai: “I pay you cash instead”.

In the wake of the story being published, Mr Lehrmann released a statement claiming the claims about the massage bookings were “bizarre and untrue” and being fuelled by a “disgruntled ex-Spotlight producer”. He insisted he did not receive a massage.

Mr Auerbach then engaged high-profile lawyer Rebekah Giles to safeguard his reputational interests and send defamation concerns letters to the former Liberal staffer.

In an affidavit, Mr Auerbach said Mr Lehrmann’s claims were “false” and so were the “statements made by Seven that I was disciplined as a result of misuse of the company credit card”.

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